Thomas P. Palladino

Executive Director

Thomas Palladino was selected as the Executive Director of the Texas Veterans Commission on October 1, 2010.  In this position, he is responsible for directing the overall administration of the agency and provides leadership for all stakeholders within the State of Texas to accomplish its mission which is to advocate for and provide superior service to veterans that will significantly improve the quality of life for all Texas veterans, their families, and their survivors.

He retired as a Colonel from the U.S. Army in September 2009 after 27 years of service (1982-2009). During this time Tom Palladino served in both the active U.S. Army and the Texas Army National Guard as an Active Guard Reserve officer.

As an Armored Cavalry Officer during the Cold War, he served in the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment (Blackhorse) and patrolled the East-West Germany border in the Fulda Gap. He also served as an Armored Cavalry Troop Commander in the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (Brave Rifles) at Ft. Bliss, Texas.

In the Texas Army National Guard, Tom Palladino served under the Adjutant General where he provided needed support and assistance to Texas National Guard Soldiers, Airmen, and military family members. He coordinated a state-wide collaborative partnership among all federal, state, and local organizations to enhance benefits and services for all military veterans and their families in the State of Texas.

He also served as an Associate Professor of Military Science (Army ROTC) at the University of Texas at Austin and an Associate Professor in Government at Austin Community College. As a Texas Public School Social Studies teacher, he taught High School and Middle School students in the Austin and Pflugerville Independent School Districts.

Tom Palladino’s education includes a BA in Political Science from Providence College, Rhode Island, and a MA in Political Science from Southwest Texas State University, Texas. Additionally, he possesses a Texas Secondary Education Teaching Certificate and Texas Public School Principal’s Certification.

His father, Victor, was a World War II Army Veteran who served in the Italian Campaign with the 5th US Army. Both grandfathers were World War I Army Veterans who served with the 26th Infantry Division in France.

Shawn Deabay

Deputy Executive Director

Shawn Deabay was selected as the Deputy Executive for the Texas Veterans Commission in June 2019. In this position, he assists with the overall strategic vision and administration of the agency. He also develops policies, procedures, and guidelines establishing priorities to meet agency goals. Shawn oversees Communications & Outreach to include the Women Veteran’s Program, Government Relations, and Information Resources.

He has been serving veterans for the Great State of Texas with both the Texas Workforce Commission and the Texas Veterans Commission for over 20 years. Shawn began his career with the Texas Workforce Commission as a Veterans Career Advisor in East Texas May 15, 2000 and a Veterans Employer Liaison in 2003. He has held multiple positions serving veterans over the past 20 years to include the Veterans Employment Services Director and Division Director for Program Operations for the Texas Veterans Commission. He received a National Employment Services Award from the Disabled American Veterans for his service to disabled veterans as well as receiving State Employment Awards from the Disabled American Veterans and American Legion.

Shawn earned his Bachelor of Science in Management from Park University. He served with the Maine National Guard from 1990 to 1992 and is a veteran of the United States Army from 1992 to 1998 before being medically discharged.

Madeleine Connor

General Counsel

Ms. Connor obtained her Juris Doctorate from the University of Houston Law Center in 2001 and clerked for the Honorable Wanda McKee Fowler of the Fourteenth Court of Appeals (Houston) the following term.

After moving to Austin and starting a solo practice, Ms. Connor clerked for three years for the Honorable Charles R. Holcomb of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (Austin), the highest court in the state for criminal matters. Ms. Connor worked in the General Litigation Division of the Texas Attorney General’s Office from 2007 through 2015, handling civil trial and appellate matters in state and federal court, focusing on employment discrimination and civil rights cases.

Ms. Connor began as an Assistant Counsel for the Commission in 2016 and was promoted to General Counsel in 2017.

Ms. Connor was elected in the March 2020, primary to the 353rd District Court of Travis County, Texas, and faces no opponent in the 2020 general election.  Ms. Connor is expected to take the bench and resign from the agency on January 4, 2021.

 

Elaine M. Zavala

Communications & Veteran Outreach Director

Elaine Zavala is the Communications and Veteran Outreach Director at the Texas Veterans Commission with responsibility for the Women Veterans Program. Elaine oversees the overall communications strategy of the agency, creating campaigns to spearhead public relations efforts and utilizing social media tools to maximize brand exposure.

Governor Greg Abbott appointed Ms. Zavala to the State Employee Charitable Campaign Advisory Committee with a term ending 2021. The committee advises the comptroller and the state policy committee in adopting rules and establishing procedures for the campaign.

Elaine is a member of the Texas State Set-Aside Committee for the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program. The committee allocates federal funds for food and shelter. She also serves as President of the American Society of Public Administration’s Central Texas Chapter. The chapter is dedicated to advancing the teaching and practice of public and non-profit administration.

Ms. Zavala is a member of the State Agency Council, which provides support to the Governor’s Commission for Women and offers professional development training to its members. She also serves as a board member of the Young Catholic Professionals Austin Chapter, which connects young professionals in their 20’s and 30’s to grow in their Catholic faith. Elaine earned a Bachelor of Science in Advertising from The University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Public Administration from Texas State University.

KrystleMatthews_web

Dr. Krystle Matthews

Women Veterans Program Manager

Dr. Krystle Matthews, U.S. Army veteran, is the Women Veterans Program Manager at the Texas Veterans Commission.  Krystle educates women veterans on the benefits and services they earned through their military service; assist women veterans with accessing those benefits and services; and collaborates with federal, state, and local partners to provide existing services and create new services to meet unmet needs.  Previously, Krystle worked in Veterans Employment Services where she served as a Veterans Career Advisor, District Outreach Coordinator, and State Women Veterans Employment Coordinator.

As a Veterans Career Advisor, Dr. Matthews worked one-on-one with veterans to help them overcome barriers to obtaining suitable and long-term employment.  As the Gulf Coast District Outreach Coordinator, Dr. Matthews provided support services to internal staff and external partners.  She created and cultivated relationships that essentially provided wraparound services for veterans seeking employment as well as other assistance (i.e., clothing, financial, housing, etc.).  As the State Women Veterans Employment Coordinator, Dr. Matthews advocated on behalf of women veterans in employment and training opportunities.  She worked to educate employers on the benefits of hiring women veterans to fill open positions as well as the benefits available to employers for hiring Texas veterans.  She also educated women veterans on the benefits and services available to them through employer programs.

Dr. Matthews holds a bachelor’s degree in Technical Management, a master’s degree in Human Resource Development, and a doctorate in Education.  She is active in several veteran service organizations and empowers college students to lead and succeed by serving as an advisor for a nationally recognized leadership honor society.  When Dr. Matthews has free time, she spends it with her family and volunteering in local communities.  She is very passionate about helping others and advocating on behalf of veterans.

Richard Jimenez

Information Resources Manager

Richard Jimenez is the Information Resources Manager for Texas Veterans Commission.  Since joining TVC in 2019, he has overseen the successful integration of vital technologies for the agency. He served in U.S. Army.  A San Antonio native, he earned a Master’s Degree in Information Technology Management from Webster University.

Greg Talamantez

Government Relations Manager

Greg Talamantez leads the Government Relations Section at the Texas Veterans Commission and serves as the agency’s primary point of contact for lawmakers, their staff, and external stakeholders, such as the Office of the Governor and Legislative Budget Board. He also leads the development of the agency’s strategic plan and legislative appropriation request.

During his time in the U.S. Army, Greg served as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Team Leader on the U.S. Army Bomb Squad. After two deployments to Iraq, he was stationed at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, to provide EOD (bomb squad) support to the National Capital Region. Following his honorable service in the U.S. Army, Greg worked in the U.S. of Representatives as a Deputy Press Secretary and Legislative Aide serving the constituents of the 23rd and 34th Congressional Districts of Texas.

Greg also worked for the American Heart Association where his efforts translated heart healthy policies into law to improve the health and quality of life for all Texans. Greg Talamantez earned his MBA from the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin, and his BA in Global Affairs from George Mason University.

 

Division of Resource Management

Chip Osborne

Resource Management Director

Charlie C. Osborne, Jr. (Chip) is the Director of Resource Management at the Texas Veterans Commission with responsibility for Human Resources, Financial Management, Training & Event Management, Fund for Veterans’ Assistance, Veterans Mental Health, and Veterans Entrepreneur Program.

He retired as a Colonel from the U.S. Army in September 2012 after 25 years of service (1987-2012). During this time, Chip served in both the active U.S. Army, Tennessee, and the Texas Army National Guard as an Active Guard Reserve officer.

In the Texas Army National Guard, he served under the Adjutant General as the Comptroller at the United States Property & Fiscal Office. He also served with the 36th Infantry Division as the G8 (Comptroller), where he provided financial management and assistance to Texas National Guard Soldiers. In addition, he deployed with the 36th Infantry Division to Basra, Iraq, USD-South from 2010 – 2011 for Operation New Dawn.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Human Services from Carson-Newman University, Jefferson City, Tennessee, and a Master of Science in Human Resources and Development from National-Louis University, Chicago, Illinois.

Chip is a life member of the American Legion Kerlin-Lyerly #154, National Guard Association of Texas, and National Guard Bureau Association.

Tim Shatto

Emergency Management Coordinator

Tim Shatto serves as the Emergency Management Program Coordinator for the Texas Veterans Commission.

Tim was born and raised in Missouri and enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1981. He retired from the Marine Corps in October of 2010 after 29 years of honorable and faithful service at the rank of Sergeant Major. Original assigned as a Field Communications Operator, his career includes tours as a Drill Instructor at Parris Island SC and San Diego CA. His career has stretched from both coasts of the United States, Okinawa Japan, and numerous combat tours in the Middle East. In 2004 he was selected as one of 17 members of the Armed Forces to serve as a Mentor for the Presidential Classroom in Washington D.C. His expeditionary tours include Operation Desert Shield/Storm, Operation Peacekeeper during the Los Angels Riots, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Humanitarian Relief in Indonesia and the Philippines, and Operation Enduring Freedom. His awards include; the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Combat Action Ribbon.

After his retirement from the Marine Corps he began working for the Texas Veterans Commission in Wichita Falls TX in December 2010. During his time with the Texas Veterans Commission he has served as a Local Veterans Employment Representative, Veterans Employer Liaison-Public Entity, Operations Manager Veterans Employment Services, Director of Veterans Employment Services, and is currently the Emergency Management Program Coordinator.

He earned his Master of Arts Degree in Human Resource Management from Wayland Baptist University. He currently resides in Bastrop TX and is the proud father of two daughters, Faith and Hope Shatto.

Tina Marberry

Human Resources & Training Department Director

Tina Marberry is the Director of the Human Resources and Training and Event Management Department for Texas Veterans Commission. She served in the United States Army as a Human Resource Specialist for 23 years and retired on August 31, 2015 as a Master Sergeant. During her service she deployed twice to combat areas and received the Bronze Star Medal and Legion of Merit. Tina finished her military career as a Department of the Army Inspector General.

Tina joined Texas Veterans Commission on July 1, 2015 as the Executive Assistant to the Executive Director. After two years in the position she was appointed as the Operations Manager for the Veterans Education Department where she provided overall program management, direction and supervision of the State Approving Agency (SAA) and Hazlewood Department. After two years in the position, Tina transitioned to become the Director of Human Resources and Training and Event Management Department on October 1, 2020.

Tina received her Bachelor of Science in Business Management in February 2014 and is a member of Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM-CP).

Dianne Coy

Human Resources Manager

Dianne Coy is the Operations Manager for the Human Resources Department. She has worked for the State of Texas since September 1, 1990.  She began her career as a Secretary for the Texas Department of Commerce, then transitioned to the Texas Workforce Commission as an Administrative Assistant on March 1, 1996.  She transferred to Texas Veterans Commission on January 9, 2006, started her employment with TVC in the Veterans Employment Services Department as an Administrative Assistant and was then promoted to a Human Resources Specialist in the Human Resources Department on June 1, 2006.

She has been married to her husband Matthew over 29 years and lives in Bastrop, Texas.  She spends her free time with family and friends.

Tycin Thompson

Training Department Manager

Tycin Thompson is the Manager of Training and Event Management. He retired from the US Army (Texas National Guard) in 2018 after serving 21 years of service and served as a Motor Transport Operator and a driving instructor.

Tycin joined the Texas Veterans Commission (TVC) in November 2013 during his time at TVC, he served veterans as a Veterans Career Advisor, and Veterans Employer Liaison until 2016. He joined the Training and Event Management team as a training specialist and then in May 2018 was promoted to Manager of Training and Event Management. Tycin is a member of the Association of Talent Development (ATD). He is an ATD Master Trainer and Master Instructional Designer certificate.  Tycin is a multi-talented instructional designer with more than five years of experience designing and developing training for TVC staff and Veterans County Service Officer (VCSO) throughout the great state of Texas. He is fluent in many delivery models, including blended solutions, instructor-led training, eLearning, Web-based Training (WBT), user guides, OJT, job aids, and case studies. As the manager of Training and Event Management, he will ensure that all TVC Staff and VCSOs receive the best training to serve the Veterans of the great state of Texas.

Michelle Nall

Chief Financial Officer

Michelle Nall has been in state government since March of 1999. She started as an Accounting Clerk with the Office of the Attorney General (OAG). Within the OAG, she moved on to be a Grants Accountant, and then spent the last 10 years with the OAG as a Budget Analyst. She then transferred over to the Texas Department of Emergency Management within Department of Public Safety for a year. Then in August 2011, she transferred over to the Texas Veterans Commission as a Budget Manager. In June 2015 Michelle Nall was promoted as TVC’s Chief Financial Officer.

Michelle received her Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Le Tourneau University, Longview, Texas. She enjoys running and spending every free moment with family and friends. Michelle and her husband, Harold, reside in Austin, Texas, and they have one daughter, Natalie.

Doug Rozunick

FINANCE MANAGER

Doug Rozunick is the Manager of Financial Operations.  He began work with the State of Texas as a General Ledger Accountant with the Office of the Governor before coming to Texas Veterans Commission where he has worked for the last 10 years as a Budget Analyst, Accountant and now as the Manager of the Finance Department.  He started school at Incarnate Word University in San Antonio and then transferred to the University of Fairbanks Alaska where he completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology.  He also holds a Bachelor in Business Administration in Accounting from St. Edward’s University.

Chris Wood

CONTRACTS AND PROCUREMENT MANAGER

Chris Wood is the Manager of Contracts and Procurement. Chris graduated from the University of Houston-Victoria in 1997 and immediately moved to Austin, working with the Texas Commission for the Blind. In 2002, he accepted a position as a Purchaser with the Employees Retirement System of Texas, and he has been involved with State of Texas Purchasing ever since. Since then, he has also worked with the Public Utility Commission, and before accepted a position with TVC, he spent more than three years with the Teacher Retirement System.

Blake Harris, Ph.D.

Veterans Mental Health Department Director

Dr. Blake Harris is a licensed clinical forensic psychologist and the Director of the Veterans Mental Health Department (VMHD) for the Texas Veterans Commission. In this position he is responsible for the VMHD as it strives to connect service members, veterans, and their families (SMVF) with local, competent, and relevant mental health resources. VMHD meets this charge by providing trainings on mental health topics relevant to the SMVF, by providing certification standards and guidance to the Military Veteran Peer Network, by advocating for justice-involved veterans across Texas, and by coordinating with other agencies and community partners.

Prior to joining TVC, Dr. Harris has been responsible for program development and implementation in both secured-residential and community-based settings while providing oversight and leadership to diverse professional teams including clinicians, case managers, program coordinators, family partners, and direct care staff. Additionally, he has participated in mental health specialty courts and provided training and clinical supervision to predoctoral interns and postdoctoral clinicians. He has also worked with adults, adolescents, and families of underserved populations in various residential and outpatient settings and instructed graduate courses in forensic mental health risk assessment. He obtained his PhD in Clinical Forensic Psychology from Alliant International University and his Master of Arts in Psychology from Stephen F. Austin State University. Dr. Harris is a proud Texan and is grateful for the opportunity the serve the SMVF across the Lone Star State.

Ron Scoggins_web

Ron Scoggins

Veterans Mental Health Department Manager

U.S. Army Veteran, Ron Scoggins is the Manager, Veterans Mental Health Department for the Texas Veterans Commission (TVC). After leaving the Army, Ron worked in the TVC Employment Killeen office as a VA work-study where he assisted Veterans to set career goals and find purposeful employment. While in this position, Ron realized his desired career path of serving veterans in other capacities. He has continued this passion for service to fellow veterans by working as the TVC Family Career Advisor, followed by becoming a Veterans Career Advisor. In August of 2017, he became the TVC Peer Coordinator, where he developed curriculum, programming, and polices for the Military Veteran Peer Network (MVPN) Peer Support Coordinators throughout the state. He now serves as the Manager for the Veterans Mental Health Department, closely working with the Director, to implement new legislation, providing oversight and technical guidance for the VMHD.

While working as a TVC Career Advisor, Ron assisted in the development of the Fort Hood Veterans Treatment Court, which would serve as the first Veterans Treatment Court on a military installation. Ron participated as a mentor in the court and assisted with the program manual development over the two year span he worked with the Fort Hood VTC.

Ron performed vehicle recovery missions as an attachment to the U.S. Marines during his tours to Iraq. His military awards include: Iraq campaign medal with two campaign stars, Overseas Service Ribbon (2nd award), Army achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and Driver and Mechanic Badge with Driver-Wheeled Vehicle Clasp. Ron’s favorite award he received was the “Soldiers Choice” award for greatest contribution based on a unanimous vote by the entire company while he was deployed. Ron has earned a BBA focused in Business Management from Texas A&M in Central Texas where he graduated Magna Cum Laude.

James Bracken

Fund for Veterans’ Assistance Director

Jim Bracken is the Director of the Fund for Veterans’ Assistance (FVA) Department. He retired from the US Marine Corps in 2013 and served in various USMC operating forces (Fleet Marine Force), training and education commands, joint and coalition forces, and with foreign militaries. He was stationed overseas in Southeast Asia for 2 years and completed 4 combat deployments (2 x Operation Iraqi Freedom and 2 x Operation Enduring Freedom – AFG). He served in command, operations and plans positions, instructor assignments, and as a foreign military advisor. Jim is a graduate of Joint Forces Staff College, USMC Command and Staff, Army Infantry Officer Advanced Course, and USMC Amphibious Warfare School.

Jim also serves the veteran community as an active member of Greater Austin Area’s Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH). Known as the “Texas Capital Chapter”, MOPH Chapter 1919 is the 2nd largest chapter in Texas (with over 580 combat wounded veteran members), and the 7th largest in the United States. He joined the TVC family in August 2019 and brings several years of senior management experience with Texas state agencies and non-profit organizations.

Michael (Mike) Bardis

Fund for Veterans’ Assistance Operations Manager

Mike Bardis is the Operations Manager of the Fund for Veterans’ Assistance (FVA) Department. He joined TVC in December of 2019 and brings a wealth of funds oversight and management experience. Prior to TVC he held the position of Joint Operations Resource Manager as a senior Budget Officer and DoD employee within the Texas Military Department. Where he spent 8 years managing operations, logistics, training and aviation funds in various positions.

He deployed twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and participated in multiple OCONUS combined-joint exercises in support of United States Army Europe and NATO partners. During his time with the Texas National Guard he has supported Texans in need during multiple Defense Support of Civil Authorities operations to include floods, hurricanes and COVID-19. Currently he serves in the Texas Army National Guard as a First Sergeant and takes great pride in his service to Texas and Texans. He is honored to directly support Texas veterans through the FVA, and the opportunity it provides to continue his service.

Anna Baker

Veterans Entrepreneur Program Manager

Anna Baker is the Manager of the Veteran Entrepreneur Program at the Texas Veterans Commission. She is an Air Force veteran, serving from 1980 – 1984 as a Korean and Spanish linguist. After the service, Anna moved to Germany where she worked as the executive assistant to the program and contract managers of Federal Electric International, at the time, the base maintenance contractor for US Army Facilities in Kaiserslautern. After 5 years, she returned to Texas to pursue her education, receiving a Bachelor’ s degree in Accounting from Schreiner University where she was inducted as a Hatton W. Sumners Scholar. Since 2005 Anna has held a Project Management Professional Certification, and in 2012 she received an MBA from Baylor University.

Before joining the Texas Veterans Commission, she led sales and operations for Dell Inc. and for Tech Data Corporation, where she received various leadership awards and recognition over 17 years. Anna believes in giving back to the community and serves as a volunteer at Dress for Success Austin, empowering women to achieve economic independence. As an entrepreneur, Anna has owned several businesses including real estate and on-line retail. As the manager of the Veteran Entrepreneur Program, she continues her mission of empowerment by educating veterans about resources to help them start and grow their businesses.

 

Charles Catoe

Program Operations Director

Charles Catoe is the Division Director of Program Operations at the Texas Veterans Commission.  He has been with TVC since October 2014 and held various positions in Veterans Education and the Fund for Veterans’ Assistance.  Mr. Catoe assumed his current role in June of 2019 and he is responsible for the agency’s departments that serve Texas veterans by filing disability claims, assisting with employment or transitioning from the military, approving education and training programs for GI Bill® use, and providing healthcare advocacy at the Department of Veterans Affairs’ medical facilities.

Mr. Catoe is 27-year Air Force veteran and holds a bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the United States Air Force Academy, two master’s degrees from Air University, and one master’s degree from Embry-Riddle University.  He also holds a graduate certification in Grants Management.  While serving in the Air Force, Colonel Catoe was a Command Pilot with more than 4,200 total flying hours (300 in combat) and held command positions at the squadron and group levels. He has been married to his wife, Georgia, for 34 years and together they raised 3 wonderful children who have in-turn blessed them with 2 grandchildren.

Sue Jevning

Veterans Education Director

Sue Jevning is the Director of Veterans Education (VetsEd).  She joined the Texas Veterans Commission in 2015 as the training coordinator for Veterans Employment Services and then implementing the agency Training and Event Management program in 2017.  She joined the VetsEd team in February 2018 and works with a team of talented individuals who connect Texas veterans to higher education and workforce training opportunities offered under the GI Bill and the Hazlewood Act tuition exemption program.

Sue is a U. S. Marine Corps veteran and has served as a civilian employee with Department of Defense. She has more than 20 years federal and state services representing a varied career in human resources; training and talent development; higher education; and conference event management and military protocol. She has more than ten years’ experience as a faculty member both public and private colleges and frequently taught and mentored active duty and veteran students.  Sue is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Association for Talent Development (ATD).  She earned her Master’s Degrees in Business Administration and Human Resource Management from the University of Maryland University College, and is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SHRM) and Certified Professional in Talent Development (ATD).

Charles Bryant

Veterans Education Operations Manager

Charles Bryant is the Operations Manager for the Texas Veterans Commission Veterans Education Department.  He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and is retired from the Army.  A veteran of the Iraq war, he has worked for Veterans Education since 2009.  Before becoming the operations manager for Veterans Education, he worked as a program specialist with the State Approving Agency for GI Bill® programs in Texas and was the program supervisor for the Hazelwood Act.

Mr. Bryant resides in Austin with this wife and two children.

Wes Bryant

Claims Program Director

John Wesley (Wes) Bryant, Director of the Claims program at the Texas Veterans Commission is responsible for 50 Claims offices throughout the state and over 140 Claims Benefit Advisors and staff.  He leads a department of dedicated professionals who serve Texas’ veterans by ensuring that their VA benefit claims are properly and efficiently processed and that they receive all benefits in which they are entitled.  His department’s goal is to deliver outstanding customer service, ensure proper and accurate claims and to maintain a professional and proficient staff of Claims Benefits Advisors.

Wes retired as a Lieutenant Commander from the U.S. Navy in October 2013 and went to work for the Texas Department of Public Safety (2013-2019). He served as Field Operations Manger in the Regulatory Services Division where was responsible for managing daily operations of the Regulatory Oversight Service. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Studies from New Hampshire College, Manchester, New Hampshire and a dual Master or Arts in Management and Leadership and Human Resource Management from Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri. He earned his Professional Human Resources (PHR) Certification in 2010.  He has a passion to lead and to provide outstanding service to Texas’ veterans and their families.

VACANT

Claims Operations Manager

Jim Martin

Veterans Employment Services Director

Jim Martin is the Director of the Texas Veterans Commission Veterans Employment Services Department.   In this position, he is responsible for directing the overall employment services efforts of over 160 Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVERS) and Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Specialists (DVOPS) statewide.  He has served Texas Veterans for the past 22 years beginning as a frontline LVER in a local workforce center. He later became a Program Manager and Integrated Service Area Manager for the Texas Workforce Commission where he was responsible for the Veterans employment program in the North Texas Region.  In 2006,  when the employment services program was awarded to the Texas Veterans Commission,  Jim accepted a position as the North Texas District Manager.   He served in that capacity until his promotion to Director in June of 2020.

Jim retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1988 completing a 20-year career working for the Comptroller of the Air Force as the Senior Enlisted Manager for Cost & Management Analysis.    He is an honor graduate of both the NCO and Senior NCO Academies.  While serving in the Air Force, he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Wayland Baptist University and a Master’s Degree with honors in Human Resources Management from Golden Gate University.   A native of Detroit, Michigan Jim resides in Grapevine Texas with his wife Gaylene where they are avid University of Oklahoma sports fans.

Darlene “Dee” Cote

Veterans Employment Services Operations Manager

Darlene “Dee” Cote is the Operations Manager of Veterans Employment Services (VES) Department. She believes and strives for the Team of Teams approach to maximize operational effectiveness and outcomes.  Dee joined the TVC on January 1, 2017 into the Veterans Education Department and moved into VES in July 2018.

Like her entire core family, including her three younger brothers, Dee is a proud U.S. Army veteran. She served during the Persian Gulf War and was an Army electronics and information technology technician stationed in Sinop Turkey, and at the U.S. Army Intelligence School, Devens (USAISD).  While stationed overseas, she won INSCOM Soldier of the Year two times. After leaving active duty, she worked as a Director of Operations with Baptist Health Care in Pensacola, Florida. She graduated Cum Laude from Husson University in Maine with a B.S in Business Administration and has three associate honors in computer programming and database management from South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia Washington, and Contract Management from George Washington University ESI International Business Program.  As a prior State of Texas purchaser (CTPM) and contract manager (CTCM), Dee worked with the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) and Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) purchasing assistive and non-assistive information technology for the blind, visually impaired and deaf and hard of hearing.   In her free time, she cycles, hikes, and walks with her retired seeing eye Labrador Retriever and has completed several fundraising cycle-thons for the benefit of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  With honor, Dee has a passion to lead and serve the veteran community and to work hand in hand with external and internal associates and partners of the Texas Veterans Commission.

Gary Lee

Health Care Advocacy Department Director

Texas Veterans Commission (TVC) Health Care Advocacy Department (HCAD) Director Gary LEE hails from Louisiana and holds a Management degree from Wayland Baptist University.

He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1984, and retired February 2008 after various deployments to Iraq, Japan, Europe, the Mediterranean, and other Far East locations. During his 23.5 years in the United States Marine Corps, he served in various military positions around the United States and overseas, including being a Marine Corps Martial Arts Program Instructor Trainer, and the 3rd Marine Air Wing Inspector General Sergeant Major.

Gary joined the Texas Veterans Commission staff in August 2008 as a Claims Counselor at the Audie L. Murphy VAMC office in San Antonio, TX. After two (2) years, he was promoted to that office’s Supervisor position, working with not only the Veterans of this great state, but also with VA, city, county, and local agencies. In 2012, the San Antonio Bar Association recognized him for his training of new lawyers on Veteran benefits, and for other contributions to their organization. After two (2) years of managing the second most productive Claims offices in the state, he was promoted to the Training Coordinator for the Claims Department. He was responsible for the training, testing, and certification of state (and regularly out-of-state), county, and occasionally federal personnel. One of his many accomplishments was helping the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) institute Texas House Bill 634; he travelled to prisons and taught their reintegration personnel to submit claims on behalf of incarcerated Veterans in advance of their imminent release. This would facilitate benefit receipt sooner upon re-entry to the general populace, and potentially reduce recidivism.

In early 2015, he was asked to help establish the Health Care Advocacy Program (HCAP) for TVC. Utilizing his years of experience, he wrote most of the program’s SOP, and established the personnel’s training curriculum. In April 2018, he was promoted to Manager of the program, the only one of its kind in the country. Gary leads a team of thirteen (13) outstanding individuals throughout the state that help Veterans and their loved ones resolve VA health care issues. Additionally, he regularly liaises with VA medical leadership and Congressional staff members to ensure Veterans’ receipt and comprehension of the VHA benefits to which they are entitled.

He is currently pursuing his MBA from WBU, and a Project Management Professional certification as well. Away from work, Gary can often be found in pursuit of music, copious quantities of northern Italian cuisine, watching New Orleans Saints and LSU football, and enjoying the liberating escape of his motorcycle.